Although Agrippa ascribes it to the Moon, myrtle has long been associated with Venus and love magick. Aphrodite is often shown wearing a myrtle-leaf wreath in her hair, and during the Roman festival of Venus Verticordia (Venus the Heart-Turner) on April 1, women bathed in water scented with myrtle and wore myrtle wreaths (the picture below shows a gold myrtle wreath from the time of ancient Greece). In Eastern Europe, the wreaths held over the heads of a couple being married were originally made of myrtle (now gold crowns are used instead), and in Wales, brides once gave a sprig of myrtle to each bridesmaid. In the Appalachian Mountains, throwing this magick herb into a fire was believed to make the face of one's future mate appear in the smoke. In England, folk believed that myrtle wouldn't grow if it was not planted by a woman.
Myrtle is also protective. The nymph Daphne escaped being raped by Apollo by turning herself into a myrtle tree with her father's help. According to a 16th-century text on natural magick, blackbirds use myrtle to protect themselves against enchantments.
Myrtle is made into sachets and used in cooking. In Crete, olive oil is flavored by steeping myrtle leaves in it for 3 weeks. Change the olive oil for sweet almond oil, and you would have a good consecration oil for Venus-oriented magick. Grind these leaves to release their wonderful scent.
Myrtle leaves, chopped
© 2004, 2016 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission